This blog entry takes a look at measuring athleticism in NFL tight ends. VPG’s A2B™ effectively characterizes 4 unique TE Player Types and quantifies NFL potential based on athletic profiles. Our analyses indicated that athletic characteristics explained about 18% of the variability in NFL performance for tight ends. The A2B™ indicates that there are a handful of 2016 TEs that have athletic ability that should transfer well to the NFL.
Development of the A2B™ for TEs
The A2B™ classifies tight ends into 4 Player Types based on their athletic profiles.
Exceptional Athleticism: This is the premier TE Player Type (think Vernon Davis). They have amazing athletic ability that translates very well to the NFL.
Good Athleticism and Speed: These TEs are also excellent NFL prospects. They are great overall athletes with good speed. Past TEs falling in this category include Jordan Cameron, Jimmy Graham, and Ben Watson.
Average: Most TEs fall in this TE Player Type. These TEs are average across the board in terms of athletic ability and NFL potential.
Low Athleticism: These TEs have very limited athleticism and rarely are successful in the NFL.
Taken together, teams would benefit most by signing/drafting Exceptional Athleticism or Good Athleticism/Speed TEs.
A look back at a few past TEs
What about the 2016 tight ends?
As you can see, the 2016 class of tight ends is primarily Good Ath/Speed and Average TEs. Now, take a look at the Top 5 NFL Potential scorers based on combine performance.
A few quick thoughts about the 2016 TEs
- Based on the 2016 NFL combine, there were a handful of prospects that had NFL Potential scores in the top quarter of all TEs historically (Adams, Hemingway, Anderson, Malleck).
- The highest drafted TE, Hunter Henry, did not participate in most of the 2016 Combine events so he did not receive A2B™ scores.
- The athletic profile of Jerell Adams seems like it should translate well to the NFL. His A2B™ NFL Potential score puts him in the top 15% of all TEs historically. He may be a bargain after being selected at pick number 184 in 2016 draft.
- Although undersized by traditional NFL TE standards, Stephen Anderson was the only player falling the elite Exceptional Athleticism group. He was not drafted but he could be a player to watch out for.
Well, that’s it for the tight end position. Keep following to learn more about the integration of sports and psychometrics.